Top praise for county child care services

EAST Sussex County Council and its partners are good at protecting children and keeping them safe, according to Government inspectors.

A team of inspectors from Ofsted has also concluded the county council is good at looking after children in its care.

The key findings of the inspectors’ report conclude the services for safeguarding at risk children and for children who are in care are good with some outstanding elements.

Cllr Keith Glazier, County CouncilLead Member for Children’s and Adult’s Services, described the result as “fantastic news”.

He said, “This really is very welcome news indeed. Up and down the country children’s services are facing huge pressures and challenges and East Sussex is no exception.

“So in the current climate to get an overall rating of good with some aspects considered outstanding is a wonderful achievement.”

The key findings follow a thorough and rigorous inspection of services conducted over two weeks in December.

The inspection included in-depth examination of more than 30 cases involving children and interviews and focus groups with frontline staff.

It also scrutinised closely the work of county council social care staff as well as the partnerships the council has with other agencies in order to ensure children are protected.

In a summary of conclusions Ofsted said the overall effectiveness of the council and its partners in safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children was “good” and there was “a strong culture of safeguarding across the partnership from council members to front line staff” that was “leading to improved outcomes for children and young people”.

The inspection and the report was split into two sections. Under safeguarding the inspectors praised the leadership and management of child protection services and the way that effective operational and performance management meant staff were able to “respond in a managed way to unprecedented levels of sustained demand”.

The training and development of staff was praised as were the rigorous case planning decisions made by staff which ensure a child’s safety and well-being are secured at the earliest opportunity.

The Ofsted inspectors highlighted areas for further improvement but also concluded the capacity for improvement was good saying, “The council and its partners have a track record of systematically identifying areas for development and addressing them.”